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Showing 1-10 of 158 reviews(Verified Purchases). See all 165 reviews
on May 8, 2014
I did a class recently in Atlanta showcasing what you could do with a cheap strobe nowadays and bought this one. The bottom line is it works well and you can get amazing results, but don't expect much from the build quality.

I found the strobe plasticy to the touch, the umbrella holder is tension based and not screw based, and adjusting the tilt of the light very clackity. If held at certain angles the Phottix II stratos used to trigger the light for the class didn't fire the light, so don't know if there's an issue with the sync port or not, just happened consistently.

During use those the light worked extremely well and produced consistent results. I've attached a few shots from the event up to show the results you can get using this $50 light, a $30 umbrella modifier, and a $20 craigslist special 100-200 lens.

At $50 I would say this is a no brainer of a buy for anyone interested in starting studio lighting, or having an extra light as a kicker or a hair light. It works well and delivers for the price.
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on September 16, 2015
I purchased two of these lights. They work fine so far, however they are not Bowens mount as stated according to the seller of the Beauty Dish that I purchased to use with these lights. The Beauty Dish is said to work with all Bowens Mount strobes, however it will not work with these lights as there is no way to mount the dish on these lights. The insert for the dish will not fit on these lights. After much hagling with the seller of the beauty dish, they assured me that these lights are mislabled and are not Bowens Mounts. I cannot mount my Beauty Dish on these because there is no insert that will properly fit over the lights. Very disappointing...!
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Enthusiast: Photographyon March 19, 2015
Few things:
It's cheap, so you know what you're paying for, then again to be so cheap it's not too bad! It recharges quickly and it works!! There's no digital meter or anything digital so it's kind of on a wimp, or guess-timating.
It does smell initially like it's burning but you get past that because it goes away.
I use it mainly to shoot indoors, in never leaves the studio.
Of the 4 I've used 2 have burned the fuses and when they start going it's over. I've replaced and replaced fuses many times and nothing changes- so my research showed me that in matter how many times you changes fuses once it go they go. No good!!

If you need that maybe strobe get it.. I would do it again but I'm risking my money because after that return period it's over!
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on May 14, 2015
I was quite surprised by this strobe light. Wasn't expecting much, but this unit blew me away in terms of how much better the photos look when taking product photography.

Dollar for dollar, this is probably one of the best "bang for your buck" strobes you can buy. Although there are units with higher wattages, for most applications 180W is plenty bright. The intensity is adjustable via a knob, which I tend to keep around 1/2 power for most shots. The unit also has a remote plug so that you can connect it to your hotshoe adapter and have it work as an external flash. The unit includes a very long cord for this, which is quite helpful. If you don't have a external flash jack on your camera (looks like a headphone jack, dont get it confused with the remote jack), you'll need to purchase a hotshoe adapter.

The 75W modeling bulb is quite helpful in displaying how the lighting angles will look prior to taking a picture, and is plenty bright for its purpose. The modeling bulb is at the exact same angle & distance as the strobe bulb for accuracy. The modeling bulb does get quite hot, but this is the case with any external strobe and the higher the wattage, the hotter the unit gets.

Although I didn't have any complaints/issues with performance of this unit, I did have some disrepancies with the build quality. The outer case is made of a cheaper plastic, which is prone to melting if you keep the modeling bulb on for too long. I'd suggest only using the modeling bulb for 5 min at a time at most. The overall unit is quite light in weight due to the cheaper materials, and can break easily if dropped or hit. I'd look elsewhere if you're looking for a strobe to use outside or in rugged environments. This particular unit is great for indoors use, but definitely not for outdoor use.

Upon moving the intensity knob, be sure to press the red button on the strobe to have the light flash once prior to taking your next photo. Because the unit charges up the power in advance, you have to discharge the unit after changing intensity for it to discharge at the particular intensity level. You can also just take a photo, but its easier to press the discharge button directly on the strobe.

After powering down the unit, BE SURE to press the discharge button as the unit is still charged even after turning off/unplugging! You'll see the unit flash when you press the discharge button. I will usually press it once again to make sure there isnt any lingering charge. Failure to do this can cause injury or death from electric shock!

Always keep the unit unplugged when not in use. With cheaper units like this, I don't always trust the power management system and as the unit is high powered, its better to be safe than sorry.
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on August 15, 2017
I plugged this lamp in for about 5 mins. When I was just about to leave the room to grab something when ai smelled smoke, I turned around and the lamp was smoking profusely. Any longer and it could habe caught my entire studio on fire!! I am now out pf $45 but better than $10,000 in property damage. The light was not well packaged and could have sustained damaged in route. Either way not a good purchase! I am a also a frequent buyer of newer products and am sincerly dossapointed.
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on August 17, 2016
Pretty good budget strobe. I use this to take photos for reviews and occasionally unpaid studio photography for friends. It works fine for me. You attach it straight up to a stand with the adapter that is attached to the bottom of the light and you plug it in. There is a hole for an umbrella in said adapter.

I use the supplied cable to attach to a remote flash receiver. It recharges pretty quickly, which is one of the main reasons I prefer this to using battery powered flashes.
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For those wondering how fast it recycles, it says in the manual 0.5 - 3 seconds. I set it to lowest power and my D610 on CL mode, continuous (low?), and fired off some shots. Flash failed to fire on every other shot, so the 0.5 sec recycle time seems about right. For comparison, the flash at LOWEST setting, was approximately equal to my TT560 speedlight at 1/2 power. Other reviews suggested this light was bright, almost too bright , and they aren't lying. I was hoping that this would fire faster but for the price, it should be a nice addition to my toy collection. I haven't tested the continuous lamp function, so I have no comment on that.
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on August 23, 2016
Plugged it in flashed once wouldn't go off again. There was nothing wrong with the strobe bulb it just wouldn't charge back up. Also the 2 prong halogen bulb falls out early easy. Wanted this for a cheap slave guess you get what you pay for. I did return it tho.
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TRUE REVIEW: Uncompensated and actual user.

It's good for experimentation or the occasional use. The adjustment for power output does not change the output significantly. The unit also gets hot after prolonged use melting what appears to be the seals/glue of the unit.

BOTTOM LINE: Recommended only if you want to have fun. =)
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on February 11, 2017
I bought these for years. Started buying new ones of this same strobe to replace older ones as they broke. All the new ones, burnt out after only a few uses. They didn't just stop working, smoke poured out, oil or liquid started coming out, and the smell was horrible!!!! Very unhappy!!!
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